Not everything at Walt Disney World requires a hard ticket in order to enjoy the holiday season. Your regular park ticket is more than enough to get you into some of the most wondrous sights at Walt Disney World during the holiday season.
Disney's Hollywood Studios: Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights
Millions of sparkling lights shine in falling snow in this theme park, in the Streets of America backlot area.
The history of this display goes back to Little Rock Arkansas in 1986, when businessman Jennings Osborne strung up 1000 red lights for his 6-year-old daughter. The display grew every year, so much so that-- by the time it reached 3 million lights-- the neighbors took legal action!
Luckily the whole thing moved to a permanent home in Orlando. Now thousands of visitors enjoy 5 million lights on trees, carousels, Mickey, Santa, and lots more, plus "Florida snow". Since 2006, the Spectacle has had "dancing" lights: every 15 minutes, choreographed lights swirl to a medley of classic holiday music; snow flurries, too.
This is a must do if you are visiting Walt Disney World between November 8, 2010 and January 3, 2011.
Disney Christmas: Epcot - Holidays Around the World
At any time of year it's fun to tour the world at Epcot, by visiting the pavilions from 11 different countries ranged around the World Showcase Lagoon, but from November 26, 2010 to December 30 2010 the tour is even better, celebrating Holidays Around the World: storytelling, Pere Noel in France, la Befana in Italy, Kwanzaa and Hanukkah exhibits in The American Adventure Rotunda.
Epcot: Candlelight Processional
The Candlelight Processional is an annual tradition and a big part of a Disney Christmas for many visitors: a retelling of the Christmas story with a celebrity narrator accompanied(Click here for the lineup) by a choir and a 50-piece orchestra.
The Candlelight Processional is included with Epcot park admission, and takes place at 5:00 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8:15 p.m., from November 26,2010 to December. 30 2010. (If you purchase a Candlelight Processional Dinner Package, you'll get reserved seating in the American Gardens Theater for this show.)
Also at Epcot:
- Lights of Winter, a musical light show nightly at the World Showcase Plaza;
- Mickey's Tree Lighting Treat: every evening, Mickey and friends light a Christmas Tree in the World Showcase Plaza;
- IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth --the laser light and fireworks show that ends the night at Epcot year-round-- has a special finale for the holiday season, including classic song "Let There Be Peace On Earth"
Although Christmas it's much less emphasized, you'll find appropriate decorations at various points in the park, but the main celebration comes with Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade (November 14, 2010-January 3, 2011).
Christmas at the Resorts
Many people will not take the time to visit Disney Resorts during the holiday season....while others say it is a must do. Here are some of the resort Christmas treasures that are sure to keep you in the holiday spirit.
- Grand Floridian - This resort is stunning on a normal day, but it is gorgeous during the holidays. One of its main features in the six-story atrium is a large hand-crafted gingerbread house, large enough to actually use as a place to sell gingerbread "shingles."
- Wilderness Lodge - The rustic setting with Christmas added is romantic and very earthy. Make time to rent a sleigh ride through the grounds.
- The Yacht, Beach and Boardwalk Resorts - Some spectacular displays are found within these Boardwalk resorts, including a large candy roller coaster.
- Dolphin and Swan - Activities are held throughout the week with an emphasis on entertaining kids. From Santa's Workshop and cookie decorating to meeting Santa or having s'mores on the beach, the holidays are celebrated to the fullest here.
Disney has done it again, made it virtually impossible for anyone to say that they have done it all. No matter what time of year you visit Walt Disney World, you are always sure to see something new. The best part is when you don't need to pay an extra dime to experience it all. Some of the most magical moments of Christmas at Walt Disney World are free!!
See ya real soon!